Friday, April 24, 2009

Cancer- a sentence or a word?

The word cancer still strikes fear into people’s hearts. In 1971 then president Nixon declared a war on cancer with the aim of winning it by the bicentennial in 1976. Suffice to say this hasn’t happened. In fact the death rate for cancer in the USA adjusted for age and population has declined only 5% in over 50 years. This is despite the spending of billions of dollars.(link 2)

Yet there are people who have beaten cancer and lived long years to tell the tale. The question arises what is different about those people, as they have often received the same medical treatment as those who didn’t survive? In my opinion it will be in their attitudes and how they manage their condition.

Those who see cancer as a word rather than a sentence, those who examine and change their lifestyles do best. I have heard many people describe getting cancer as a wake up call. These people have looked at what aspects of their life are not working and may be “cancerous.” For some it is their diet, some are in toxic relationships, others are overworked. There is no one answer. There are answers though and that is the positive message of every person who has “beaten” cancer.

The key message though is that it is more to do with the individual than the treatment. This does not mean that cancer can be meditated away or replace the need for medical treatment. It does mean that those who take an active role in their recovery will do better than those who regard themselves as “victims.”

Interesting too this week, questions being raised about chemotherapy guidelines being too influenced by the pharmaceutical industry. Writing in the Internal Medicine Journal leading Australian oncologists have criticized drug company sponsored guidelines which encourage” aggressive and often futile treatment with expensive chemotherapy agents”.(link 3 ) In the US a new trial on the drug Avastin failed to show a significant effect in preventing the recurrence of colon cancer. Sales of this drug in the USA were $2.7 billion last year.(link 1)

It is not all doom and gloom. Take an active role in any treatment. Do not see yourself as a victim. Be prepared to look honestly at aspects of your life, which may not be serving you. Be prepared to make changes. Be accepting of your emotions and work through them without suppressing them.

Each person is on a journey in this life. There are lessons to learn and experiences to be had. Work with your body not against it. This does not guarantee recovery from cancer or any illness. It does mean you will get the most out of the days you have on earth however many they may be.


  1. anyone worried about cancer should get their vitamin D levels checked. The data on the correlation between vitamin D deficiency and cancer is almost as strong as the link between smoking and cancer. take a look at and sign up for their newsletter

  2. Anyone with cancer, read this article,